Topic 8: Women and Eating Disorders {by 11/15}

Our second presentation – Eating Disorders – is this week (11/13).  There is also one assigned reading that is due – “Anorexia and Bulimia: Purity and Danger.”  Address the following  discussion point:  (1) Simply identify at least two significant messages (i.e., what resonated with you) that you got out of this reading with regard to eating disorders and women.  Your original post should be posted by 11/15.  Have your two replies no later than 11/17.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

41 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nicole Boris
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 20:22:05

    One message that really resonated with me was the section that gave the personal opinion to her condition which was bulimia. She states that she knew she was not that thin and that there were many other people that were far thinner than her. She saw nothing wrong with her ways. She stated “it’s only bad when you get really thin.” Nobody worries about bulimics. This really stood out to me because it shows how this individual does not believe that she has a serious problem. Just because she is not uber skinny she thinks there is nothing wrong. The whole denial this individual has is what really took me by surprise.
    The other message that really resonated with me was the section that stated that anorexia lead to the lacking of feminitity. By this they mean that women tend to lose thier breasts, hips, and menstruation when they are severely anorexic. What really shcoked me was that many anorexic women found this to be a form of freedom. I do not see how any woman would see this as a form of freedom. They are not longer having those womanly curves that many men find beautiful. It just did not make sense to me that any women would find losing their feminity as a form of freedom.

    Reply

    • Kathy Wilbur
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 11:29:05

      Nicole, the part where you talk about how bulimics justify their disorder by convincing themselves that “it’s only bad when you get really thin,” really reminded me of the group’s presentation on Demi Lovato. It seemed that she justified her problems in similar ways, and ended up in rehab for it. I thought it was really interesting and sadly partially true when you said no one cares about bulimics. Anorexia definitely gets more attention than bulimia, and maybe if that was fixed, the instance of bulimia would begin to decline.

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    • Morgan Long
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 19:37:26

      I like what you had to say and I completely agree with both of your points. It scares me how people tend not to worry about bulimic people because they look normal. This makes me wonder if women with bulimia go unnoticed for a long period of time if that could hurt their recovery. It would be easy to continue with bad habits if there was nobody to tell you to stop.
      I also don’t see how anorexia is interpreted as a form of freedom. Being in such complete control all of the time seems like a lack of freedom.

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    • Alyssa DelMonaco
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 21:54:30

      I also agree that it is scary that no one really notices bulimia as much in individuals with eating disorders. It is sad that this disorder can go unnoticed for long periods of time. I also agree about the part when she said she didn’t think she was that skinny because she saw other people skinnier than she was. It also made me think of Demi Lovato and how she viewed herself when she was sick.

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    • Anna Kenny
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 22:49:20

      I also do not see how anorexics could think losing their femininity would be freeing. I have never considered anorexia to be a “freeing” disease, and more of a controlling one. I also dont agree with the feminist view that this is a disease going against the constraints of society. I believe it is almost to become accepted it no society. Most people with this disease are suffering from depression and do not have good support groups or friends. I can see why someone with this disease would want to change themselves and gain control in order to get a better grasp on their lives. I dont think they would be going against society, but societal factors could easily tie into why they are practicing these behaviors.

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    • Nichole Ronan
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 15:46:19

      I like what you had to say about the girl who doesn’t really think she has a problem because she’s not extremely skinny. I feel like this is how it is for most people with eating disorders. They don’t think what they’re doing is wrong, and that they don’t have a disease because there not a certain weight. It’s really scary that they actually think this way.

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  2. Avnee Patel
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 20:44:34

    The article gave an interesting incite on eating disorders. I found it interesting that bulimia was once a sub-type of anorexia. The authors used very vivid terms like “skeletal and death” and “corpse-like body” to describe people who are anorexic. I reasoned with the authors in which the anorexic body if often viewed as alienated from femininity. These women lack feminine features like breasts, hips and curves. Some women who are extremely underweight do not have a menstrual cycle. While women who are bulimic have their feminine features. I agree with the authors, where it is more difficult to read a bulimic body as a visual body, since they have normal weight and purge in secrecy. I feel that women who are anorexic look down upon bulimic women, since they don’t have power over their body. Anorexic women have the power to control what and how much food they put in their mouth while bulimic women each as much food as possible and then throw it up. Anorexic women find it disgusting that these women can put food in their mouth and enjoy what they are eating. Bulimic women accept their body while anorexic women cannot. I found it interesting that an anorexic body is seen as a pure body of spirit while a bulimic body is messy, undignified and disruptive. I think this implies that bulimic people do not have control over how much they eat while anorexic people do.

    Reply

    • Kathy Wilbur
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 11:33:15

      Avnee, I found what you had to say really interesting and it brought to my attention parts of the reading that I hadn’t noticed were overly significant. I only find myself disagreeing with you at one part- when you say that bulimic women accept their body and anorexic women do not. I don’t believe that either accept their body, for if they did they wouldn’t have bulimia at all. Perhaps they accept their bodies enough to engage in the type of disorder that keeps it looking relatively stable, but their is nothing stable or accepting about their disease, unfortunately.

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    • Anna Kenny
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 14:59:10

      I was thinking about what you said how people with bulimia are not visual manifestations of disease. I was thinking how they purge privately, where as people suffering from anorexia are constantly showing off their success in the disease, by becoming thinner and thinner. This is stated in the article when it says that anorexia is equivalent to success and achievement and bulimia is associated with disgust and loss of control. It seems that both of these disorders involve serious internal conflict and low self-esteem.

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      • Taylor Foley
        Nov 14, 2012 @ 21:42:59

        I completely agree. I found it shocking woman could have such low self-esteem to have such issues with body image. It is sad that anorexic woman believe that losing so much weight makes them feel more powerful and feel more satisfied with themselves. It really is devistating that females have to go through feeling like this.

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    • Nicole Boris
      Nov 16, 2012 @ 16:01:06

      I also found it strange that buliema was once a sub-type of anorexia. Yes the two are both very serious eating disorders but they are so completely different. Once you become so malnourisehd and skinny that you are on the verge of death where bulemia can go completely unknown because you remain a normal body weight.

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  3. Kathy Wilbur
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 11:24:51

    The first section of the reading that really jumped out at me was when they were introducing the feminist perspective on anorexia and its causes. “Susan Bordo sees the anorexic woman as attempting to take flight from a destiny of ‘domestic femininity’ through an identification with the strength of willpower which, she argues, is systematically coded as masculine. The achievement of- or perhaps regression to- a body lacking in feminine signifiers (breasts, hips, menstruation) is thought by Bordo, and many anorexic women themselves, as a form of freedom.” I had a hard time believing this, to be honest, as I tend to doubt that most anorexic women are not so because they wish to free themselves from the masculine ideals and constraints of society. Rather, I’d imagine most are anorexic because they have body image issues that definitely stem from society, but not from such a feminist place.
    Overall, a second aspect of the reading that was significant to me was the idea that bulimic women are looked down upon and almost discriminated against by the anorexic community. I don’t particularly understand that concept at all, and I wonder if this disdain among people who also have eating disorders contributes to their bulimia.

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    • Morgan Long
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 17:22:48

      I completely agree. I never imagined anorexic women wanting to be masculine. If anything, I think that the obsession with being skinny comes from wanting to be more feminine. Society puts so much more pressure on women to be skinny than it does on men. So, I don’t think that anorexic women are trying to go against society. In a way, they are victims of the influence society has had on our culture.

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    • Alyssa DelMonaco
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 21:58:30

      The first section also resonated with me as well. I did not understand why anorexic women say that this could be a sense of freedom for them. I agree with you that these women probably had body image issues that came from society that led to their anorexia, rather than having a feminist view on it. I do not see how one could view anorexia as freedom.

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    • Eddaliz Correa
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 23:02:53

      I agree with how confusing or weird it is that anorexic women look down upon bulimic women. Since it’s hard for anyone in general to notice which women have the bulimic eating disorder it’s surprising that anyone can criticize them. I think it’s ridiculous that anorexic women see their disease as anything special or good to have because both are bad for the body and shouldn’t be praised at all.

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    • Nicole Gaviola
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 20:54:31

      I absolutely agree with you and had similar thoughts when reading this article. I find it hard to believe that women are anorexic because they wish to free themselves from the masculine constraints of society. I also think that women suffer from anorexia due to poor body image and doubt they are trying to appear more masculine. It kind of seems like feminist theory uses its understanding of anorexia as a means to provide evidence for feminists’ viewpoint rather than considering how likely it actually is.

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    • Nicole Boris
      Nov 16, 2012 @ 16:03:17

      I also found it strange the bulemic women are looked down upon in the anorexic community. Both disorders are very serious and in no way shape or form should be looked down upon. They both should be taken very serioulsy and all individuals who suffer from it should recieve immediate help.

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  4. Anna Kenny
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 14:53:37

    This reading was very insightful as well as disturbing. It really stood out to me how feminists can sort of put anorexia on a “pedestal” because in a way they see it as a symbol of female oppression. I found it strange how they also can view it as strength and willpower and how it is a females way of going against society. I disagree with this. I do not feel that a female with anorexia’s underlying motive is to go against society. On the other hand, I think it is one’s desperate attempt to gain control while also adhering to our culture’s “ideal” physical appearance for women. It is interesting to think that anorexia revolves around control and bulimia is the opposite, being out of control.
    It was also interesting to look at these eating disorders on a spectrum. Women in our culture are so obsessed with their physical appearance since western ideals push these upon us. This is the feminist perspective seeing varying degrees of the disorder. It is important to see the underlying reasons for these disorders since they are not the same. In many cases people with anorexia engage in these behaviors because they feel a loss of control, and they want to find some semblance of control in their lives. This spectrum way of looking at the disorders is interesting but it does not delve specifically into why these women are doing these practices.

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  5. Morgan Long
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 17:16:34

    The overall message of this article is that bulimia is considered the ugly and gross eating disorder. Women that have eating disorders look down upon those who have bulimia because they are not in control of their tendencies. Women who are anorexic however, are in complete control. At one point in the article the author goes as far as saying that anorexic women are noble for refusing their body food. This was kind of surprising to me. I have always had a lot more sympathy for bulimic women. Their habits seem a lot more scary to me. I understand that anorexia is in some ways more dangerous than bulimia but I think that being out of control is very intimidating. I think its sad that these women are looked down upon so much. “Anorexia= achievement, self-sculpture, pride. Bulimia= disgust, loss of control, battle, abuse.” The overall tone of this article is really harsh. The words and descriptions of bulimic women are awful.

    Reply

    • Meghan Surette
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 19:13:24

      Morgan, I agree with what you said about the extreme contrasts between anorexia and bulimia and the words this articla attached to either disease. I wrote about the same passage, as it really stuck out to me as well. It doesn’t seem right to put on disease up on pedistal over another when both are incredibly harmful and potentiall fatal.

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  6. Meghan Surette
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 19:09:48

    I thought that this article was incredibly interesting. This article found a way to make the reading interesting without simply just sighting facts about bulimia and anorexia and the differences between them.
    One thing that really stood out to me was when the authors mentioned one of the feminist perspectives on anorexia and what it means to be skinny. According to the feminine perspective, the anorexic body is skeletal in an attempt to lose all womanly curves – breasts, hips, menstruation – as a “form of freedom”, a wa to get away from supression as a woman. This struck me as a sort of extreme way of thinking. I think that if this is actually true, it is true to a very selective, very small portion of the anorexic community. I don’t think that women in our modern day fall victim to anorexia to be seen as less of a woman to avoid male suppression. Just from what we’ve gone over in class even, it’s always just been that the women who are affected by this disease to not have an intense desire to get away from discrimination from men, but their intense fear of becoming or being fat.
    Another thing that I thought was really interesting was the comparison between anorexia and bulimia in regards to how the two diseases view the body. The article mentions anorexia as “achievement, self-sculpturing, and pirde” and bulimia as “disgust, loss of control, battle, abuse” . It seems as though the two wouldn’t be such polar opposites, but that there would be a little more negativity associated with anorexia since neither are diseases to be proud of.

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    • Taylor Foley
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 21:48:00

      I completely agree about the idea of bulimia being more disgusting and loss of control type of disease. I find it weird that they are extreme opposites yet with each disease the same goal is to get skinny. Its sad that woman do different things to achieve the same “goal” of theirs. I find that both ways of going about it are loss of control because not eating and starving yourself to the point of losing so much weight is a loss of control and letting the psychological thought take over your actions and everything.

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    • Eddaliz Correa
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 23:00:19

      I was really surprised by this as well. When we think of reasons why women choose to be anorexic it is because they want to look like the models they see in the media. By saying that they are trying or are getting rid of their feminine attributes it is really surprising. They’re moving towards a masculine look which is what we think that most anorexic or most women in general are trying to get away from.

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    • Emily Stewart
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 05:55:23

      I agree with you Meghan about the drastic differences in definitions between the two diseases. As mentioned in the article, bulimia is seen as a loss of control, abuse, battle, and disgusting. It is the “ugly sister” of the two diseases. However, anorexia nervosa is seen as achievement and self-sculpture. I would think that a person suffering from either eating disorder would think that both are good because they are both ways of losing weight. But, I agree with you Meghan because the differences between the two should not be such polar opposites. They are both bad diseases that should not be seen in a positive perspective.

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  7. Taylor Foley
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 19:38:48

    I thought this article was extremely interesting in many ways. I found it interesting to read about the different views and ideas of bulimia and anorexia.
    One thing that stood out to me was the fact that bulimia used to be a sub-type of of anorexia. I also did somewhat agree with the fact that bulimia is not as attractive because purging isn’t attractive but at the same time how is being disgustingly skinny attractive? I personally agreed with some of the authors views on bulimia because technically bulimia causes anorexia and becoming skinny.
    I found it interesting also that anorexia to feminists is making it so woman are not opressed. I find this true because becoming that skinny causes your feminine features to go away such as hips and breasts which would be going against the ways of woman and becoming more man like. It shocks me that some woman find that attractive when the attraction between men and woman comes from having different bodys and having the ideal curves that woman want. Taking away your feminine aspects is like taking away your woman identity and difference between another sex. I found it shocking that feminists think this is a way of showing willpower and how they can become more respected when I think that having a body and curves and doing other things would be a much healthier way of having willpower and standing up for woman’s freedoms and rights.

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    • Avnee Patel
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 21:27:34

      I agree with what you said on how becoming skinny cause’s women to lose their feminine features. I think our curves, breasts and other feminine features are what makes us different from other women. I do not see how losing these features give us will power and respect. I also found it interesting that women who are anorexic are proud of how they look and it’s sad to see that their losing all of their feminine features.

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    • Emily Stewart
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 05:45:35

      I agree with you Taylor that taking away your feminine aspects does not show willpower whatsoever. It is really weird to know that some feminists believe they can be powerful by being grossly skinny. Most of the human population would believe that the key to show your women rights and strengths would be the opposite of being anorexic/skinny. When I think of a influential person who is an advocate of weight and young women, I think of Tyra Banks. She is always talking about being comfortable in your own skin, no matter your weight. It seems as if more women and advertisements are using fuller bodied women, which is good.

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    • Nichole Ronan
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 15:53:03

      I agree with you that there are other ways for woman to show will power, and to stand up for woman’s rights other than being extremely skinny. I also think that it’s shocking that feminists think that taking away a woman’s femininity can result in women being more respected. I don’t think that’s right at all.

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  8. Gina Holick
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 19:40:20

    One message that resonated with me is a particular quote from Christine Fontana’s “Stick Figure.” She says she is able to catch the different meanings of each disorder. “I am learning the hard way that is the difference between the two: Anorexia= achievement, self-sculpture, pride
    Bulimia= disgust, loss of control, battle, abuse. (Italics in original)

    I found this quote stood out to me while I was reading because I could see the differences she was making between the two disorders. I do not know what it feels like mentally and physically to be anorexic, however, I can say that it probably makes you feel like you have achieved your version of an “ideal” body image. It is your version of a sculptured body figure that you feel fits you and serves the way the media has portrayed body images. I do truly believe that the media is a powerful negative source of making people feel like they have to lose a ton of weight. It is VERY sad. I hope something one day can put a stop to it.

    On the other hand, bulimia is seen as disgust because the person is purging their food as opposed to starving themselves.They feel like they have essentially lost control of their body image because they are abusing their body and feel like purging is the only way to make themselves feel better. Whereas anorexics feel the satisfaction through the ideal body image they think they are achieving.

    Another message that resonated with me was when the article stated that anorexia is almost more ‘socially accepted’ than bulimia is. It basically goes hand in hand with my previous comment. I can’t believe how much it actually seems that way because people see images in magazines, television and the internet. It is such a terrible representation of the way women DO NOT look. Women these days feel that being “skinny” is the norm, when in reality, you should be happy with the way that God made you. It is unfortunate that people have to battle with this disorder. It is very much a mental disorder because you are feeling your mind with negative words.

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    • Avnee Patel
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 21:42:58

      Gina, I agree with you and think that media does have a negative influence on body image. I feel that all the models these days are 5’8 and weigh 110 pounds which doesn’t look healthy. I feel that some young girls will go to many lengths to look like some of these models and distort their body image. Some models are so thin that they start to lose their feminine features and start to look sick.

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      • GIanna Paolini
        Nov 19, 2012 @ 15:19:04

        I agree I feel that the media puts a lot of pressure on girls to look a certain way. This then makes girls feel self conscious about the way they look and then they develop an eating disorder to impress everyone else including themselves. In reality a women should love her self no matter what.

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    • Nicole Gaviola
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 21:01:34

      I find it really sad that one eating disorder is more socially acceptable than another. I find anorexia and bulimia to be equally as concerning and equally as damaging. Both disorders are a serious cry for help and should not be “socially acceptable” in any setting. I definitely agree with you that the media today advocates being skinny as the norm and can have a serious influence on women’s body image.

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      • GIanna Paolini
        Nov 19, 2012 @ 15:20:14

        This is so sad that one disorder is more acceptable. I feel they are both bad and can hurt someone or the people around them equally.

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  9. Alyssa DelMonaco
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 21:45:55

    I thought this article described anorexia and bulimia in a very different and interesting way. One thing that stood out to me was how bulimia only used to be a sub-type of anorexia up to the year of 1976. I never knew this until recently. I also found it interesting how the author talked a lot about how anorexia is viewed “as alienated from a feminine subjectivity” from the feminine perspective. The author also states how some people view anorexic women as getting rid of their feminine identity and leaving a “destiny of ‘domestic femininity’.” This implies that they are trying to achieve a more masculine view on themselves by getting rid of their feminine qualities of breasts, hips, and menstruation. They see this as getting a sense of freedom. I thought this was a very interesting part of the article. I would never have looked at anorexia from that perspective. Another thing that stood out to me in this article was when the author was talking about anorexia and how “the physical body is not the place she lives, but something she exerts control over.” This contrasts with bulimia because it states that the body is fighting for control when put under these circumstances. What surprised me was how the article stated that anorexia was viewed as “contained and even noble in its seemingly lofty refusal of bodily function.” I do not think the word “noble” should be used to describe any kind of eating disorder. I found the views on both anorexia and bulimia in this article to be very interesting.

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  10. Eddaliz Correa
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 22:58:39

    In this article I found it interesting that the feminist theorists were saying that anorexic women are constructing themselves as a victim. They are trying to be an example of how unjust society is. They compare their expressions of anorexia as showing their political oppression. I found this interesting because it’s something I’ve never heard before about anorexics but I think their theory is going beyond what these women are actually trying to do. We don’t hear about anorexic women trying to be the way they are because they’re fighting politics and media about the way women are portrayed. I don’t agree with this because it seems too exaggerated. I also found it interesting that most bulimic women are able to hide their problem. It is scary to know that some of our friends or people we encounter every day may be bulimic and we can’t help them because they hide it so well. I saw a show on MTV where it showed the life of a bulimic woman. She was overweight and this was a way for her to control her eating habits and the most she released the food she ate the more weight she lost. After about two months she had lost around 80 pounds and was losing more and more weight. When she was very overweight she would shy away from others and not socialize. When she reached her weight loss she went out with friends all the time and told others she had lost all of that weight through exercise and dieting. None of her friends knew how she really lost it and by watching that show it just shows how well these women are able to hide their eating problem.

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    • Meghan Surette
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 10:50:56

      I agree with you Eddaliz in that it is so scary to know that anybody you meet could be suffereing from literally anthing not immediately apparent right away. Bulimia is a scary disease because of that. The girl in the MTV show that you mention I’m sure was very proud of her wieght loss but it seems a bit rediculous for her friends to be oblivious of it with her losing 80lbs in one month. I didn’t see the show but it seems as though if she had even just one real friend, that would ahve raised some concern to the point where maybe the friend would have said something or asked if she was being healthy about her wieght loss. That girl has developed some really unhealthy habits that I imagine, if she keeps to herself, will not get help and suffer from until she chooses to acknowledge them.

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  11. Emily Stewart
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 05:36:44

    This article explains a lot about bulimia and also the differences between bulimia and anorexia. The first thing that I found most interesting was how the author argued that bulimia is the “ugly sister” of anorexia. I had never known that this is what some people believed. Is it true that all women suffering from anorexia nervosa thinks that bulimic woman are different than them? It puzzles me to think that one women suffering from one eating disorder will look down upon another women suffering from another type of eating disorder. I have always viewed the two diseases as really similar to one another.
    Bulimia is not important, well known, or easily understood because it is invisible. Unlike anorexia nervosa, bulimics hide their weight and most people do not even know they are suffering. According to Susan Bordo (pg. 18), the human body is made for “display,” thus, bulimic women cannot express their bodies and they “cannot be read for the reflection they give our culture.” This shocked me when I read this because I would not think people would argue what disease is better to our culture than the other. The woman is basically saying anorexia is better because you can show it off to the world, whereas, if you are bulimic you are looked down upon because your body/weight is hidden. It is seen as the monster, it is an act of disgust, and it shows the world you lack control. However, anorexia nervosa is seen as “achievement, self-sculpture, and pride.” I have never known this was the main difference between the two with regards to women suffering with these diseases.

    The second thing I found most interesting was how the author believes bulimia is a “habitual practice.” While an anorexic body is seen as a “pure body of spirit,” the bulimic body is looked at as unkempt and disturbing. This opened my eyes because I had always thought that both were seen as negative. Anorexia is one thing: simply not eating. Bulimia is a process of binging and purging and losing control. I had never thought of bulimia as being a habitual practice.

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  12. Nicole Gaviola
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 13:51:42

    This article offers an interesting view on women suffering from anorexia nervosa and bulimia. I found it surprising that bulimia was only seen as a sub-type of anorexia until 1976 and the majority of the research that exists on bulimia is only seen as an adjunct to anorexia. What resonated most with me was that anorexia in women has been read as a form of social protest. Women face so much oppression and pressure in the patriarchal society we live in today and anorexia can be seen as a form of freedom. Anorexia causes most women to lose their “feminine” features (i.e., breasts, hips, menstruation) and acts as a form of rebellion towards women’s expected norms and characteristics. I have never thought of anorexia in this manner. It has always been my understanding that anorexia is caused by a combination of environmental, social, and biological aspects, however, I never considered that perhaps it is caused because women seek to free themselves from the expectations of society. I thought women became anorexic because they had a distorted body image and wanted to look better and not to look more masculine.
    Another thing that resonated with me in this article was that women with anorexia often look down on women suffering from bulimia. I find this baffling because they are both very serious and potentially fatal diseases and to believe that one disease is “superior” to another is almost disturbing. Women with anorexia are seen as in control and bulimia is perceived as a severe lack of control. Anorexia makes a statement whereas bulimia is kept hidden and is rather invisible.

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  13. Nichole Ronan
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 15:09:36

    The article as a whole discussed a lot of somewhat shocking views on eating disorders that I was unaware about beforehand. For example, one thing that really stuck out to me was the fact that people with anorexia put themselves on a pedestal and consider themselves to be superior to people with bulimia. This is because anorexia is considered the more “controlled” disease, and people with anorexia can control what they eat while bulimics can’t. I personally think if you have an eating disorder, whether it be anorexia or bulimia – you’ve lost control of your life. Even though anorexics have “control” over what they eat at the same time they’ve let the disease completely take over control of their lives, so I don’t think one eating disorder can be considered superior to the other at all. Another thing that interested me was them feminist theory stating that people with anorexia lose all of their womanly curves and that brings them a sense of freedom. I never thought of anorexia like that, and I thought the obsession of being skinny had to do with wanting to appear more feminine, not masculine.

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  14. Morgan McCallum
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 22:23:54

    “Unlike anorexia, and unlike obesity, bulimia is hidden, (Squire, 18).” I really liked this article, and this quote in particular. It is so profound to realize that although these disorders affect the individual significantly, unlike an anorexic female who may be kept an eye on/put into treatment because of physical (and, of course, mental) repercussions, a bulimic female/’ugly sister’ is most likely dealing with the affects of her behavior solely on her own, and her ‘mental scars’ are not being healed. A bulimic constantly uses her body as a give-and-take, a means to an end, an object, violently, obsessively, compulsively, so on and so fourth. I feel like bulimia can be related to bi-polar disorder in that there are significant, and quick, changes in behavior; while binging, the bulimic may feel satisfied that she is getting something pleasing in excess…but a sudden shift occurs when the food has been eaten, and she feels disgusted and worthless, and that’s when the purge happens (I will use vomiting), and endorphins are released and she feels a high, until that wears off and then she comes crashing down to reality again and the guilt and the feeling of being powerless sinks in again.
    It saddens me that there is a competing hierarchy of disorders between some females; females really need to start helping each other heal together. I thought that it was insightful when Squire talked about how anorexic females may use their body as an object, and use it to rebel against patriarchal society, and the view of the ‘ideal woman.’ These females, are seen as powerless, which does not go along with feminists whom want females to embody power in this world where we have already been seen as inferior to men/patriarchal society; anorexic females could be examples of the byproduct of an unjust society.
    Another passage I thought was very personal, and important, is when a woman, Fiona, discusses herself in her bulimic phase; “[I] think of how beautiful it felt to be anorexic, how safe it was, how much love I had…remembering the way Cathy hugged me in front of the heater…She doesn’t hug me anymore…They stopped loving me when I stopped dying, (Squire, 20).” This passage is hard to read because it has been proven that even females who have gained success and have unlimited attention while in in-patient care, typically go back to negative, and unchanged, environments that trigger the disorder again, or transition from one eating disorder to another. For Fiona, in her bulimic phase, it’s hard because she received attention, support, and care when she was externally very unwell (anorexic), but what about when she was bulimic, and internally very unwell? The consistent attention faded, and that probably encouraged her to relapse into being anorexic again. Characteristics that overlap in both disorders should be considered, but more so, I really think they should be looked at as separate, equally damaging disorders.

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  15. GIanna Paolini
    Nov 19, 2012 @ 15:16:53

    I find it interesting that people with buliemia do not see anything wrong with their ways. I went on a retreat this weekend and someone shared their story of eating disorders. They talked about how they were head over heels in love with their eating disorder. This made me think of the article and how it is interesting how someone can fall in love with something so hurtful to their bodies. They psychologically think they are helpping themselves becomes prettier and benefiting them. In reality they are just hurting themselves. I also found it interesting that people are bulimic for attention. I feel that this shows that they are trying to cry for help and they do not know how else to fix their problems. The story in my retreat was very touching and fascinating that she needed to go through hatered of people trying to help her to realize what she was doing to her body.

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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